A gray wolf is missing from a wildlife center in Forest Lake, after someone apparently broke into the building Sunday night and pried open the gate.
Employees at the Wildlife Science Center discovered the break-in on Monday morning.
Two other wolves were trying to get back into the enclosure when the employees arrived, but the third wolf ran away when staff approached.
The missing animal, a 3-year-old Mexican gray wolf, has since been sighted around Forest Lake, but officials have been unable to catch her. A group of government trappers from Grand Rapids has been brought in to assist in the effort.
Peggy Callahan, executive director of the Wildlife Science Center, said the wolf was last seen on Coon Lake on Monday.
"She was terrified of the snowmobiles, and darted off the lake and was trotting around the neighborhood," Callahan said.
The Wildlife Science Center has been trying to breed the endangered animals in captivity.
The Mexican gray wolf is native to the southwestern United States, and Callahan worries that the wolf might not be able to survive the cold Minnesota weather for very long.
"She's lost. She's confused," Callahan said. "It will be a death sentence if we can't catch her."
Callahan said the wolf is shy and would not be dangerous unless provoked.
The Wildlife Science Center has asked that anyone who sees the wolf immediately call Animal Care Coordinator Matt Row at 612-730-5574.